A leader of the Patriot Boys of North Texas, a self-described militia based near Dallas, pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a police officer during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo courtesy of Justice Department
Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A leader of the Patriot Boys of North Texas, a self-described militia based near Dallas, pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a police officer during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Donald Hazard, 44, fought with an officer with the United States Capitol Police as the two fell down a flight of stairs, which caused the officer to hit his head and become unconscious, the Justice Department said Thursday in a statement announcing his plea.
Hazard and Lucas Denney, the militia's president, had obtained body armor and military-style helmets, as well as "knuckle gloves" and goggles, before traveling to Washington to disrupt a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Federal prosecutors said that a newspaper photographer had filmed Hazard during the events in Washington.
"I want the enemy to know exactly who is coming after them," Hazard said on the recording, according to federal prosecutors.
Hazard and other rioters tried to climb the steps to enter the Capitol building at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 6 when they were met by officers.
"Officer T.S. engaged with Hazard in order to force Hazard back; Hazard grabbed Officer T.S. as Hazard fell and continued to fight with Officer T.S. as the two fell down the stairs," prosecutors said.
"Officer T.S. hit his head and was knocked unconscious. He also sustained injuries to his head, foot, and arm, some of which required surgery."
Prosecutors added that Hazard and Denney were seen advancing toward a line of police officers while holding pepper spray, then entered the Capitol through the Parliamentarian door at about 2:56 p.m. that day and remained inside for about five minutes.
"We're here at the nation's Capitol and we're storming it. We're taking the Capitol," Hazard said in selfie-style videos he made inside and outside the building. "This is America, baby."
Hazard was arrested in December 2021 and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.
Authorities have arrested more than 985 people for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, including 319 who have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.